Posts Tagged ‘Sandro Perri’

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Adventures In Your Own Backyard

Patrick Watson at The Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIf you were to plot out my appreciation for Patrick Watson on a graph versus time and geography, the salient data points would read something like this:

September 2007, Toronto, Ontario – Watson wins the second Polaris Music Prize with his second album Close To Paradise, an album I was almost wholly unfamiliar with despite the fact that, as a juror, I probably should have been. I generally resent him for this because I was sure that Feist was going to take it with The Reminder and now I felt kid of dumb.

September 2009, Toronto, Ontario – Watson is now riding a two-album Polaris shortlist streak although odds of Wooden Arms repeating are long. And while my interest in his music hasn’t really grown over the past couple years, I admit to being won over some by his performance at the gala as he and his band opt to wander through the audience like steampunk troubadours rather than play on the stage.

October 2011, Reykjavik, Iceland – Even though he’s not even performing at the festival, Watson shows up for Esmerine’s set at the Canadian Blast day show for Iceland Airwaves and sings on a couple of songs from their album La Lechuza, dedicated to the memory of Montreal singer Lhasa de Sela. He sounded great, and geez – who the hell just happens to show up in Iceland?

March 2012, Austin, Texas – Failure to get into The Jesus & Mary Chain’s set at SXSW meant that I needed a fallback plan and thanks to a confluence of timing and geography, I ended up at Watson’s show in a small church where he was showcasing his third album Adventures In Your Own Backyard, still not due out for a month at that point. It was beautiful, and I think I began to finally, properly get Patrick Watson.

It’s strange that it should have taken me so long – after all, it’s not as thought what he does is outside of my wheelhouse at all. Pretty, ornate, classical/jazz-pop that doesn’t go out of its way to be difficult or anything besides what it is, you’d be hard-pressed to find an artist more comfortable in his skin and his sound than Watson. It also helps that Adventures is a beautiful record; sonically dense, intimate in feel, thematically opaque enough to intrigue and with a sly sense of playfulness running throughout. There are points where I do wish it were a little less… airy, but those complaints are as minor as they are irrelevant.

One of the things that made that aforementioned SXSW show so great was how Patrick Watson was able to infuse that Austin church sanctuary with the spirit of an impromptu carnival and its attendant sense of wonder. It wasn’t reasonable to expect them to to do the same with the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio last Wednesday night where they performed for a radio broadcast to go with Adventures‘ release this week, but that didn’t mean they weren’t going to try. The show opened in pitch blackness with the band playing the new record’s opening track “Lighthouse” guided only by small flashlights affixed to their hands before being lit up by the stage lights at the song’s crescendo. It was a dramatic moment, certainly, but notable in being exactly the sort of grand gesture that they don’t need to make to impress.

What I’ve found in my re-examination of what it is that Patrick Watson (the band) excels at is that they’re at their best when making music on a micro scale. The exquisite detail of their compositions seems best appreciated under a magnifying glass, where you can really take in and appreciate how intricately it’s all assembled. You definitely get a sense of that watching the five-piece band onstage, where the meticulous orchestration and sequencing of the performance – to say nothing of their collective musicianship – is astonishing to behold despite the sort of casual, lassiez faire vibe they like to affect. Along those same lines, Patrick Watson (the man) interjected many amusing and occasionally rambling asides and anecdotes into the hour-long set that were both charming and disarming.

They played almost all of the new record and a couple from Wooden Arms that offered a little more punch amidst Adventures‘ dreamier tone, and really if there were any more reservations I had about coming around on Patrick Watson, they were gone by the time they were done. Will this earn them a place on my Polaris ballot? Hard to say, but I also get the feeling that they won’t need my help making a third shortlist appearance.

The entire concert is already available to stream at CBC Music and the whole of Adventures In Your Own Backyard is also available to stream, along with some videos of the performance. If that’s not enough, there’s a studio session for Q available to stream at and “Blackwind” from the new record is available to download for free at iTunes.

The Globe & Mail,, The National Post, The Edmonton Journal, JAM, The Ottawa Citizen, The Montreal Mirror, and CBC Radio 3 have interviews with Watson.

Adventures In Your Own Backyard is out today in Canada, April 30 in most other territories and May 1 in the USA. They’ll be back in Toronto for a show at the Music Hall on May 29.

Photos: Patrick Watson @ The Glenn Gould Studio – April 11, 2012
MP3: Patrick Watson – “Into Giants”
Video: Patrick Watson – “Fireweed”
Video: Patrick Watson – “The Storm”
Video: Patrick Watson – “Drifters”
Video: Patrick Watson – “The Great Escape”
Stream: Patrick Watson / Adventures In Your Own Backyard

Paste has premiered the new, Strangeglove-saluting video from Dan Mangan’s Oh Fortune. He’s doing a free show the afternoon of June 16 at Pecault Square as part of Luminato.

Video: Dan Mangan – “Post-War Blues”

McGill Tribune talks to Cold Specks, whose debut I Predict A Graceful Expulsion is out May 22; i-D also has a video session and interview. They play June 2 at the Music Hall opening up for Great Lake Swimmers.

The first Paper Bag Session video for PS I Love You’s forthcoming Death Dreams is now up to watch. They’re at The Garrison on May 15.

Video: PS I Love You – “Princess Towers” (Paper Bag Sessions)

I’d speculated that following his show in support of Metronomy earlier this month that Sandro Perri would be announced as support for Destroyer at The Opera House on June 23 since he was doing so for the other Canadian dates on the tour. That might yet happen, but not before Perri plays a couple shows of his own – he’s at The Tranzac on May 14 and 15.

MP3: Sandro Perri – “Love And Light”

The countdown timer on the Bruce Peninsula website implies that something is coming on April 24 – their Facebook also confirms as much – but it’s not a concert announcement; that’s already here. They’ve slated a May 24 show at The Great Hall, tickets $12 in advance.

MP3: Bruce Peninsula – “In Your Light”

There’s still no precise details on the second Wilderness Of Manitoba record besides that it exists and should be out this Summer, but their next local show will be June 30 on the Toronto Islands as part of the New Traditions Festival… no precise details on that, either.

MP3: The Wilderness Of Manitoba – “Hermit”

Local artist Maggie MacDonald may be better known for her tenure in The Hidden Cameras and fronting Betty Burke, but she also works in theatre and her latest endeavour is a musical collaboration with Stevie Jackson of Belle & Sebastian, and he’ll be on hand – along with a number of other local artists – for their performance of Paper Laced with Gold at Harbourfront Centre on April 28; tickets $15.

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

The English Riviera

Metronomy and Sandro Perri at The Hoxton in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI’ve been concert-going in Toronto for a few years now so there’s not really a lot of venues in this town that I’m not at least a little acquainted with; some I’ve spent probably an unhealthy percentage of the 21st century in, but I digress. One, however, that I hadn’t set foot in before is The Hoxton – née 69 Bathurst – even though its hardly out of the way and has been hosting shows for a few years now. That they’ve been more of the more electronic sort goes part of the way of explaining why, but then I do like some electronic-y stuff – like England’s Metronomy, who were there on Monday night and finally allowed me to see what this place was like. And ability to host live music notwithstanding, The Hoxton feels very dance clubby, all sleek and neon and so not The Horseshoe, but hey – any decently-sized room in the city that puts on shows should be appreciated.

From Sandro Perri’s comments during his opening set that this was one of the strangest places he’d played proved that I wasn’t the only Torontonian who was feeling a little out of place in this room in his own hometown, or maybe he was just referring to supporting Metronomy. On one level, his deceptively complex electro-jazz-folk is a natural fit for Metronomy’s rather cerebral approach to dance music, but that’s probably more the case over headphones than on the stage. Still, he was here fronting a six-piece band with a packed house in front of him and a critically acclaimed album in last year’s Impossible Spaces to push, so none of that really mattered.

To watch them play was like seeing a man standing in the centre of a Rube Goldberg machine, Perri remaining stationary while either leaning into the mic to sing or attending to his guitar as his bandmates built densely intricate layers of keys and percussion around him; there was simultaneously nothing to see and yet so much to behold. I’ve never really listened to much of Perri’s work; I’ve heard a few of his albums and while they’ve been pretty listens, they’ve not really stuck with me and I put some of that blame on the artist – despite quite obviously being a work of great creativity and craftsmanship, he just makes it sound so easy, so effortless that it’s easy to let it become aural wallpaper. And while that same laid-backedness carried over to the live show – most songs were infused with a nimble lightness and sense of whimsy except for the one introduced as ballad but was almost a dirge – it was hard to not be impressed with the talent on display, even if their jamming did stray into indulgent territory on a few occasions.

As I mentioned last month, I regretted missing Metronomy’s last visit in October but scheduling and the fact that I was still warming to their Mercury-nominated The English Riviera kept me at home that night. But if someone had told be beforehand whay a good show they put on, maybe I’d have dragged myself out regardless. I suppose that I should have known they’d put on a tight, polished, and entertaining show given that they’re at the stage where they can headline smaller festivals in UK, but still. You guys are supposed to look out for me. For a band that’s largely anchored to their instruments, they were surprisingly physical in their performance. While only bassist Gbenga Adelekan was really free to roam and roam he did, it was actually keyboardist Oscar Cash who had some of the best dance moves and Anna Prior’s sequined purple jumpsuit easily won the best outfit award; it’s a shame she was hidden at the back behind the drum kit for most of the show. And of course there were their signature light discs fastened to their shirts, which were quite effective at cueing up the audience like applause signs or beacons to start the party.

While they easily got the room moving, Metronomy don’t necessarily make music for acting out; it’s more the soundtrack for being effortlessly cool. The title of their latest album, which made up about two-thirds of the set, is quite appropriate given how they craft dance music infused with quintessential English reserve, with their relatively austere approach to synths and samples, cascading falsetto vocals and irresistibly throbbing rhythm section coming across alternately and simultaneously icy and elegant. And on top of all that, they were all kinds of charming with frontman Joseph Mounts taking the obligatory digs at Montreal and commenting on the venue name, noting that if he was spotted in the real Hoxton carrying his acoustic guitar he’d be shot… though he quickly amended that to, “called a wanker”. If you were unsure about whether or not to bother seeing Metronomy live and we’re somehow fortunate enough to get a third visit before they go off the road to make record number four, let me tell you now: bother.

Sidewalk Hustle also has a review of the show and Cincinnati CityBeat and The Village Voice talk to Sandro Perri, whom you can probably expect will be announced any day now as opening for Destroyer at The Opera House on June 23.

Photos: Metronomy, Sandro Perri @ The Hoxton – April 2, 2012
MP3: Metronomy – “The Look”
MP3: Sandro Perri – “Love And Light”
MP3: Sandro Perri – “Futureactive Kid (Part 1)”
Video: Metronomy – “Everything Goes My Way”
Video: Metronomy – “The Look”
Video: Metronomy – “The Bay”
Video: Metronomy – “She Wants”
Video: Metronomy – “A Thing For Me”
Video: Metronomy – “You Could Easily Have Me”
Video: Metronomy – “Heartbreaker”
Video: Metronomy – “A Thing For Me”
Video: Metronomy – “Holiday”
Video: Metronomy – “My Heart Rate Rapid”
Video: Metronomy – “Radio Ladio”
Video: Metronomy – “A Thing For Me”
Video: Sandro Perri – “Love And Light”

Throwback English singer-songwriter Gemma Ray has made a date at The Great Hall for May 10 in support of her new record Island Fire, out April 16 in the UK and May 29 in North America. I caught her back at SXSW 2010 and she’s an entertaining and engaging performer; worth investigating.

MP3: Gemma Ray – “Runaway”
Video: Gemma Ray – “Rescue Me”

DIY talks to Clock Opera’s Guy Connelly as they await the April 17 release of their debut Ways To Forget.

PopMatters checks in with Gareth Campesinos of Los Campesinos!.

Gerard Love of Lightships (and yes, Teenage Fanclub) puts together a list of some of the music that inspired his solo debut Electric Cables for All-Music Guide.

Interview talks to Jason Pierce of Spiritualized, whose Sweet Heart Sweet Light is out April 17. They’re at The Phoenix on May 5.

The Line Of Best Fit talks to Stuart Braithwaite about curating a day of the London edition of All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in May and have also made available to download a recording of the band’s appearance at the first ATP back in 2000. Mogwai are at The Phoenix on June 18.

MP3: Mogwai – “Stanley Kubrick” (live at ATP, 2000)

Scandinavian singer-songwriter Ane Brun, in town at the Great Hall on May 10, has opted to introduce herself to North American audiences by means of an Arcade Fire cover available to download via Rolling Stone. It appears as a bonus digital track of her new album It All Starts With One, out May 1.

MP3: Ane Brun – “Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)”

Ólafur Arnalds’ contribution to the Hunger Games soundtrack – which also appeared on his 2010 mini-album Found Songs – has been made available to download for free. There’s also a new animated video to go with “Near Light”, taken from Living Room Songs, and a track from his collaboration with Nils Frahm is available to stream at DIY.

MP3: Ólafur Arnalds – “Allt Varð Hljótt”
Stream: Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm – “a2”
Video: Ólafur Arnalds – “Near Light”

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Count The Clock In 2012

Wavelength announces lineup for 12th anniversary festivities

Photo via FacebookFacebookNestled amidst some concert announcements in a post last week were a couple of odd one-offs for No Joy and PS I Love You which were not part of any announced tour or timely promotional cycle. It didn’t occur to me to ask why, but just a little bit of thought would have made the answer obvious – Wavelength. The dates of their shows corresponded to the four-day weekend of the Toronto music series’ twelfth anniversary festival, and though neither of those acts is properly local – they hail from Montreal and Kingston, respectively – it makes perfect sense that they’d be invited to perform.

The rest of the lineup was announced earlier this week and as with every year it’s a doozie, occupying a different venue around the city each night and boasting a loaded and eclectic bill of bands. Tickets are available for each show or you can get a festival pass for $36, which is a bargain any way you look at it. They go on sale January 17 and the schedule shakes out as follows – for the “who they are / where they’re from / what they do”, head over to the Wavelength website.

Thursday, February 16 @ Parts & Labour: Metz, Odonis Odonis, Slim Twig, Man Made Hill, Eucalyptus ($10 advance)
Friday, February 17 @ Steam Whistle Brewing: Fucked Up, Bonjay, Catl, Silver Dapple, Hut ($17 advance)
Saturday, February 18 @ The Great Hall: No Joy , Sandro Perri, Nat Baldwin, Off The International Radar, The Weather Station ($12 advance)
Sunday, February 19 @ The Garrison: PS I Love You, Burning Love, Army Girls, Mötem, Most People ($10 advance)

MP3: Nat Baldwin – “Weights”
MP3: Fucked Up – “Queen Of Hearts”
MP3: No Joy – “Hawaii”
MP3: Sandro Perri – “Love And Light”
MP3: PS I Love You – “Get Over”
MP3: The Weather Station – “Everything I Saw”
Video: Bonjay – “Stumble”
Video: Odonis Odonis – “Blood Feast”
Video: Off The International Radar – “Sans Olo”
Video: Silver Dapple – “(Pauses)”

Islands are going small for their tour in support of A Sleep & A Forgetting, due out February 14 – the Toronto date is February 28 at the tiny Music Gallery, tickets for that are $22.50 in advance.

MP3: Islands – “This Is Not A Song”

Hot on the heels of the release of their self-titled debut, The Darcys have announced the release of their next album, a redo of Steely Dan’s Aja. The record will be available on January 24 and Rolling Stone has got the first MP3 from it available to download, while NOW asks drummer Wes Marskell, “why Aja?”. They play The Phoenix on March 1 in support of Bombay Bicycle Club and are also on the bill for Edgefest at Downsview Park on July 12.

MP3: The Darcys – “Josie”

The video surfaced at the end of last year, but the title track from Woodpigeon’s new For Paolo EP is now available to download.

MP3: Woodpigeon – “For Paolo”

Spinner spends some quality time chatting with The Wilderness Of Manitoba.

NPR is streaming the whole of Kathleen Edwards’ new record Voyageur ahead of its release date next Tuesday. She plays The Phoenix on February 11.

Stream: Kathleen Edwards / Voyageur

Austra has released a new video from the breakout Feel It Break, and if that’s not enough there’s also an interview and session at The Alternate Side to read and watch.

Video: Austra – “Spellwork”

Yours Truly has a video session with Grimes to share. Visions is out February 21 and she plays The Horseshoe on March 19.

NPR welcomes Kathryn Calder for a World Cafe session while The Province has posted an interview.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of a recent Suuns show in New York.

The second single from Leonard Cohen’s new album Old Ideas is available to stream. It’s out January 31.

Stream: Leonard Cohen – “Darkness”

Monday, December 27th, 2010

The World Won't Last The Night

Review of Miles Kurosky’s The Desert Of Shallow Effects

Photo By Brandon ShowersBrandon ShowersThe final week of the year – a time for reminiscences, reflections and regrets. And leading the pack in the regrets department, at least as far as the blog goes, is not giving more attention to Miles Kurosky’s solo debut The Desert Of Shallow Effects, even though Kurosky’s set was a highlight at SxSW. It’s an album that should have gotten a lot more facetime hereabouts, considering I’d been waiting for it for nigh on seven years, ever since Kurosky’s band Beulah called it a day.

Since Kurosky hasn’t really made an effort to distance himself from Beulah’s legacy with his solo work, I probably shouldn’t have to. After all, if Desert had come out under the Beulah marque, no one would have batted an eye. Indeed, no less than four of his former bandmates appear on this record, amongst the 30-plus players who are credited in the liner notes contributing horns, woodwinds and all manner of unconventional percussion instruments in addition to the mandatory guitars, keys and whatnot. Clearly, anyone thinking that a Kurosky solo record would just be him and a guitar has got another thing coming. Even after all the time away, his artistic ambitions remain as loft as ever and Desert is a pretty terrific record of lyrically sharp and sonically dense, yet wholly immediate pop tunes, the likes of which the world hasn’t been graced with since, well, Yoko. It’s a void in the cosmic musical continuum you didn’t know was there until something steps in to fill it; it had best not be another seven years before the next record.

Daytrotter just posted a session with Kurosky.

MP3: Miles Kurosky – “Apple For An Apple”
Video: Miles Kurosky – “The World Won’t Last The Night”
Video: Miles Kurosky – “Dog In The Burning Building”

Robert Pollard talks to Spinner about potential future Guided By Voices projects beyond the final handful of scheduled dates running through next February.

Spin quizzes Conor Oberst about the new Bright Eyes record The People’s Key, due out February 15. They play the Sound Academy on March 13.

The Dumbing Of America interviews Sharon Van Etten.

The New York Daily News checks in with Daniel Roesen of Grizzly Bear.

Woodpigeon, en route to Europe for an extensive tour, have scheduled a stopover in Toronto to play The Tranzac with Sandro Perri on January 12.

MP3: Woodpigeon – “Winter Song”

This year’s Hillside Inside festival in Guelph will bring Sarah Harmer and The Rural Alberta Advantage together at the River Run Centre on February 4 – tickets $39.50, on sale now and I’d say this is worth the drive to Guelph. And if you’re already in Guelph, well duh.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Stamp”
Video: Sarah Harmer – “Captive”

Daytrotter’s session with Stars is now up for the grabbing.

BBC talks to Will Butler of Arcade Fire.

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Fun And Laughter

Land Of Talk breaks silence with tour, new EP

Photo via saddle-creek.comsaddle-creek.comLand Of Talk was supposed to spend this year promoting the hell out of their excellent 2008 full-length debut Some Are Lakes but following a short bit of local touring around the end of January, including an excellent long-awaited show at the Horseshoe, the band had to go on an extended break while frontwoman Liz Powell underwent and recovered from vocal cord surgery.

They returned to live duty with some shows over the course of the Summer, but have now put together a proper if shortish tour for the Fall, taking them from south to north along the Pacific coast, though east coast dates are also promised. And while the current live itinerary will only benefit westerners, they’re also releasing a new EP on October 27 that people can enjoy irrespective of their personal geography. Fun And Laughter will contain four new songs and three videos from Some Are Lakes. The clip for the title track emerged a few months ago, the one for “The Man Who Breaks Things” has just hit the interwebs and the last one for “Troubled” will probably surface closer to the actual release date.

The news of new music from Land Of Talk is certainly welcome, but not as much as the fact that they’re back, presumably in good health and raring to go. Good to have you back.

Video: Land Of Talk – “The Man Who Breaks Things (Dark Shuffle)”
Video: Land Of Talk – “Some Are Lakes”

The Wooden Sky, whose acquaintance you may have made last month, will be playing an in-store at Sonic Boom on Monday night, August 24, at 7PM, to mark the release of their new album If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone, which will be officially out the next day. Of course you’ll be able to buy it early at this show, but don’t tell anyone.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Something Hiding For Us In The Night”

Cuff The Duke are also celebrating the release of their new album Way Down Here with an in-store at Criminal Records on September 8, the date of release. They’re also doing two nights at the Horseshoe on October 16 and 17. Exclaim talks to the band about their Fall plans.

The Bravery are at the Opera House on October 6, previewing their new as-yet-untitled album due out November 10.

Boston’s Hallelujah The Hills have made a date at Sneaky Dee’s for October 17 to support their new album Colonial Drones, out September 22.

MP3: Hallelujah The Hills – “Blank Passports”

White Denim will make an appearance at the Horseshoe on November 9 as part of an extensive tour in support of their new album Fits, out October 20. Grab a track at RCRDLBL.

MP3: White Denim – “You” (live at KVRX)

Camera Obscura’s last show here in June was super-sold out on account of being at Lee’s Palace, several degrees smaller than their usual accommodations when the Scots visit. Well those shut out of that performance will be pleased to know that the band is staging a Fall tour that will bring them back to the more appropriately-sized Phoenix on November 26 with Papercuts as support. Camera Obscura recorded a session for NPR which is available to stream.

MP3: Camera Obscura – “French Navy”
MP3: Papercuts – “You Can Have What You Want”

And shocker – The Charlatans won’t be crossing our path after all. They’ve canceled their Fall North American tour on account of drummer Jon Brookes requiring shoulder surgery. This, of course, includes their September 23 date at the Mod Club – the second time in the past year and a bit they made and then broken a date in Toronto.

MP3: The Charlatans – “You Cross My Path”

Luxury Wafers is sharing the audio and video fruits of a session with The Rural Alberta Advantage. They’re playing day one of V Fest at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 29.

Also on day one of V next week will be Franz Ferdinand, whose 2005 mini-doc Tour de Franz is the movie of the week at PitchforkTV.

Video: Franz Ferdinand: Tour de Franz

And appearing on day two of said festival are Mew, who are streaming their new album No More Stories on their MySpace leading up to the album’s release next Tuesday. SF Station has an interview with singer Jonas Bjerre.

Stream: Mew / No More Stories

Spinner talks to Victoria Bergsman of Taken By Trees, whose new album East Of Eden is out September 8.

NPR is streaming a radio session with A Camp.

The Galway Advertiser talks to Okkervil River’s Will Sheff on the Irish influences on his writing and songwriting inspiration in general.

Joe Pernice talks to The Portland Mercury and Oregon Live. He’s at the Dakota Tavern on September 24.

Nick Cave is coming to town, but not for a concert – Exclaim reports that Cave will be in town on September 16 for a live interview and signing at the Indigo at the Eaton Centre to promote his new novel The Death Of Bunny Munro, which will be released on September 4.

And if you can’t get enough rocker/lit convergence, be sure to check out Word On The Street in Queen’s Park on September 27, where in addition to the infinite kiosks of booksellers and publishers, there will be a music stage where the songwriters of Bruce Peninsula, Ghost Bees and Sandro Perri will be discussing their creative process.